View Full Version : Tiny gloat

08-27-2005, 10:47 PM
I went to a yard sale the other day. Being a former tin basher (aircraft repair) I couldn't resist buying these at one dollar each.


08-27-2005, 11:48 PM
good steal

08-27-2005, 11:49 PM
good steal !

08-27-2005, 11:55 PM
Ah a man a showing off his new dollies. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

08-28-2005, 12:04 AM
I have a set of similar chunks of steel but I don't know enough to understand the difference between the nice ones and the cheap ones. To me it is about bashing metal until it behaves. Are the more expensive mandrels any better than the cheap mandrels?

My bet is that these items where covered with dirt and rust.

You've tripled the value just by cleaning them, and added again by talking about them and telling how they are used.

[This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 08-28-2005).]

08-28-2005, 12:15 AM
Tiny Gloat. Harbor freight has the whole set with the three hammers for 9.99

08-28-2005, 12:50 AM
"My bet is that these items where covered with dirt and rust"

Yeah, so? It only took about 30 minutes to clean them http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

HF doesn't exist in CANADA. We have the very respectable company called BUSY BEE TOOLS. Bzzzzz...

Come to think about it, Harbour Fright isn't much better a name than Busy Bee.

Doc Nickel
08-28-2005, 01:08 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Tiny Gloat. Harbor freight has the whole set with the three hammers for 9.99</font>

-Yeah, and they're soft iron that'll dent if you look at them sternly.

A dented dolly is worse than no dolly at all, since you'll be pounding miniature dents into the metal at each swing.

This is another case of it being worth spending the money on good tools than trying to fight through using crappy stuff.


08-28-2005, 01:15 AM
These have a very few light marks from use. I will assume they are made from good stuff. I still use rivets from time to time. It's an old habit.

08-28-2005, 06:44 AM
Doc, are you sure about the soft metal issue?

I've had my HF set for a year or so and no dents yet. One of the best VW Beetle car restoration websites recommended them so I bought a set.

Fiberglass handles on the hammers, nicely finished dollies, and a case to carry all of them in. I'm very pleased with them?

Milacron of PM
08-28-2005, 08:05 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Come to think about it, Harbour Fright isn't much better a name than Busy Bee.


The original name HF went by (for years) was even worse... Harbor Freight Salvage !

Having said that, it's difficult for me to imagine a more doofus sounding name for a company selling machine tools than "Busy Bee" http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

08-28-2005, 06:29 PM
Those Chinese hammer and dolly sets (the HF etc ones) are absolutely useless. I bought a set once and the dollies are unhardened and smaller than the equivalent Martin. I still have the set somewhere but it ain't worth anything to sell.
I replaced them with the expensive Martin ones - universal, heel, toe and egg. The difference is night and day. Larger dollies (the "right" size), hardened and polished steel.
If those are Chinky, you had may as well throw them away - I am surprised that someone who claims to be an ex body man (aircraft repair)cannot tell the difference between good and useles dollies.

08-28-2005, 09:08 PM
i guess i'm the one to ask. what are those things and do you have any photos of them in use?

they look like something you'd see on a table top in an episode of Star Trek.

andy b.

08-28-2005, 09:13 PM
Nice catch Evan. The big-name stuf isn't any better. You don't want dollies rock hard anyway or they bounce. Mine get dinged from throwing them around or dropping them, very seldom from use. When they do get dinged-up I just use my DA sander on mono to dress and polish them up.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I am surprised that someone who claims to be an ex body man (aircraft repair)cannot tell the difference between good and useles dollies.</font>

I'm surprised that anyone claiming to restore autos puts so much stock in "Banging" on dollies hard enough to make dents in their tools. Very seldom is there a need to hit hard "on" dollie anyway. If your are, you're abusing the metal or it's bad enough to replace.

[This message has been edited by CCWKen (edited 08-28-2005).]

08-28-2005, 09:49 PM
I have to agree with CCWKEN. When I was doing "tin knocking" my dollies and hammers had a mirror finish on the striking faces. Massage? Yes. Finesse? Yes. Even persuaded some metal, in my time. I own an anvil and can honestly say that I have never had to "bash" anything on it.

We used to run a Formula Continental out of my shop and, on those rare occasions, when the driver tried to wad it up, there was no reason for bashing.

If you're data is anomalous, you've more digging to do.

08-29-2005, 01:39 AM

I used to use dollies like these to set aluminum rivets. I am a bit suprised at the comments. Using a dolly to bash steel expands the steel and generally results in a bad outcome. A few light taps with a planishing hammer is all the use they will ever see, other than setting aluminum rivets.

Has anyone ever seen a metal shrinker?

These are called "bucking bars". I have very long and skinny arms (well, I used to). I could reach into any part of the inside of an aircraft to place a rivet. One job I did was a Beech 18 wing retrofit to stop the wings from falling off.

The job called for Cherry rivets (fancy name for a fancy pop rivet). I was able to place nearly all the rivets with a bucking bar using solid aircraft rivets.

I guess there aren't a lot of tin bashers around.

08-29-2005, 11:00 AM

08-29-2005, 07:40 PM
Shrinker - Stretcher. ??? Now there's a useless tool. Well, I shouldn't say useless. I've got one but it doesn't get used a lot. Mine is mounted on a stand with a pedal. I don't like the marks it puts in the metal nor minimum/maximum depth.

I'm a metal former, not a "tin basher". http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

08-29-2005, 09:48 PM
CCW ken -
Obviously we disgree on a lot of aspects of this issue.
I use my shrinker stretcher quite a bit. Very useful tool for forming sheetmetal.

Rock hard dollies bounce? Had to laugh at that one. All dollies bounce, that's how the crown gets formed when you're working a crowned panel - by the rebound of the dolly.

Stretching? YES! That's the point. A dolly is not just a back up block for flattening rivets. They are used for forming steel or ally - very useful when you need to stretch the steel. That's how you form a compound curve - by stretching.
I agree, if you're using them as a simple back up block then any old lump of junk will do. If you're a bondo merchant also (are *you* - counter-clockwise Ken?)- any old crap will do because you'll just fill and sand anyway.
However, if you intend any kind of metal finishing then those useless small soft HF dollies are no good. I own them and have tried them.

You bondo merchants should attend a Ron Covell class - watch him form a gas tank or fender using just hammer, dolly, shrinker/stretcher and bead roller.
No bondo required on the finished article.

08-30-2005, 01:18 AM
I don't need Ron's classes or his videos. I have used Ron's method of shrinking with a P-hammer though. I got my training and tips from a bodyman that worked before Bondo was invented. Dollies don't need to be hard to be good. I've even used wood and plastic. The same goes for hammers. There's a place for everything.

This car has hand formed hood centers, steel top, rear fenders and rear center section. Not to mention the unseen floor and seat risers. No bondo used here. There was some used on the front fenders--Only because the front fenders are fiberglass. Plastic has it's place so you should learn to use it too.


08-30-2005, 08:52 PM
That's a nice vehicle.
I agree, Bondo has it's uses - to metalfinish every panel on every car wouldn't make sense either in money (time is money right?) for the pro or in time for the hobbiest.
We'll just have to agree to disagree on what makes for a good dolly and how to use it, but that's OK.